Spoke with the media and residents today at a coffee shop downtown about the first 100 days since inauguration. Hard to believe it’s been that long, time flies when you’re having fun. Here’s what we reported on in terms of the first 100 days:
- Mayor’s Plan for Transit initiated through four working group meetings since December. Approved in principle by Council in February – plan focuses on overhauling the transit system and intercity service and repurposing of the downtown terminal to a possible food market
- Site plan, building permits finalized for new TD Operations Centre – the largest new office/industrial building in Barrie in more than 5 years
- Campaigned to keep Barrie Central Collegiate open, created partnership opportunities to revitalize high school and strengthen west end of Downtown – March 1st ARC recommendation supported City’s position to defer closure and pursue partners
- Council passed traffic calming policy and pilot project – part of a Safe Streets agenda. Traffic calming measures to be introduced in problem areas around the City this year
- Worked with Georgian College and their university partners to plan and advocate for a downtown academic building
- On-going meetings with the business community including; the Chamber of Commerce, Barrie Real Estate Board, Springboard Innovation Centre, Georgian Angel Investment Network, small business organizations, the Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, and many of Barrie’s largest manufacturers.
- Continual work on investment recruiting and business meetings. Since December 1st, held 58 meetings or conference calls with businesses, business groups, and potential investors
- Participated and enjoyed being one of the “Dragons” for SpringBoard’s two live business pitch competitions. 4 new businesses are now being incubated and another 3 businesses are in the coaching program
- Internally, initiated “Investment Readiness” review to ensure City departments are delivering customer service to new and expanding businesses
- Held transition meetings with senior staff and Councillors in November to ensure appropriate orientation of City issues and administration
- Within 5 days of inauguration – held strategic planning session with new Council to establish goals for new term (Dec 11th) and budget briefing with new Council (Dec 8th). Strategic plan approved by General Committee in March
- Established new Economic Development and Transportation Committee of Council to bring new Council focus on job creation, economic expansion, and transportation issues
- Spoke at both County Council and Innisfil Council meetings to rebuild relationships and deliver the message that it is time to move forward together on common issues
- Met with Mayors of Orillia, Collingwood, Markham, Vaughan; Base Borden Commanding Officer Col. Meloche; MP Patrick Brown, and MPP Aileen Carroll to discuss and pursue City matters; attended Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) meeting in Markham with 17 other big-city Mayors.
Community and Communications
- ‘Opened up’ Council meetings through introduction of new open delegation segment; overhauled meeting agendas to simplify and expand opportunities for public consultation and involvement
- Held meetings in the community – Mayor’s levee and three Town Hall meetings held (Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 5) with more than 300 attendees in total
- City’s new website launched with easier access to information and new online services for residents
- Improved online communications through social media – now using Mayor’s Blog and Twitter to exchange information with residents.
- Dedicated a significant amount of time to participating in community events and talking with community groups and organizations. Since December, Mayor Lehman has had more than two dozen speaking engagements and has directed his staff that he will accept every invitation he can possibly accommodate.
- Streamlined Committees and Boards – eliminated duplicate or unnecessary committees, added community members; established new Environmental Advisory Committee